Written by Jonathan Wojcik

October 11: Halloween City!

   Often far exceeding the charm of Spirit, Halloween City is the only other seasonal Halloween store that seems to grace central Florida with its presence, and if you know some third one, for the love of Samhain, let me know before it's gone. Halloween City tends to put out a much bigger selection of my favorite Halloween items - toys, party favors and smaller, less costly decorations, overlapping with other stores in several cases but always bringing something new to the table.

   The city's most striking inhabitants this year are by far their new hanging monsters, the largest decorations of this type that I've ever seen and over a hundred bucks apiece. Considering I've bought monsters like this only 15% smaller for under half the cost, I can't say it's all that fair a price, but surely worth every penny to the hardcore Halloween decorator with expendable cash. Photos just can't capture how ominous and cool this thing looks in person, it's whole head a good three or four feet across.

   This grey alien looks a whole lot smaller in this image than it really is; his head could engulf most of my torso. It's not often you see decorations of aliens like these, either.

   Of all these giants, I'd say the "hanging Zombie" is the one to get. Zombies are a dime a dozen nowadays, but the yellow sores, neon green pus and vacant eyes on this guy give him so much unique character, more "plague-stricken cultist" than traditional zombie, and he's twelve feet tall with an impossibly gigantic head. What could be better!?

   Well, I'll tell you...and I'll show you. I almost got through two visits to Halloween City without noticing one of the most unique Halloween props to come along in years:

   I don't know how I came so close to passing by this thing - just another of those moments where something is so cool, my brain almost refuses to accept that I'm not imagining it. Skull clown? Seen a million of them.

   Mutant flower skull clown with bendy tube arms? Oh, that's pretty neat I guess.


   Yes, this is a clawed giant daffodil with a human skull, dressed as a hobo clown, or to put that a better way, this is a clawed giant daffodil with a human skull, dressed as a hobo clown. Is our entire culture just unraveling at the seams at this point? It's about damn time.

   The item itself is produced under a brand called "Midnight Carnival" and sold as a "Halloween Tangler." As near as I can tell, this is an entirely new innovation in Halloween prop technology, as a thorough internet search turns up only one other known species of "tangler" genus:

   While nowhere near as imaginative and preposterous as our bug-eyed botanical joker, a giant bendable snake-like skull and spinal column is nothing to sneeze at either; had I seen this one first, I might have still been pretty excited. There are monsters exactly like this thing in countless fantasy role-playing games, and at long last, we can pretend to have the real deal for a pet. I just ordered one of these guys off ebay, and he'll be here any day now.

   I suppose when you decide to market giant, bendy tube-monsters to the adult home decorator, you can't afford to plunge headfirst into the unknown and manufacture fifty flavors of them - their patent is still pending, and they're probably just testing the waters. I can only hope and pray that their experiment is a success, because anything else you can possibly come up with for a giant, bendy tube-monster is going to be awesome. Here's hoping for all sorts of wacky demon-worms and tentacle-zombies in 2013!